The Ministry of Defence has signed a multi-million-pound contract for new boots for the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Armed Forces personnel will receive a new range of brown combat boots to replace the black combat and desert boots they currently wear. As part of a contract worth £80 million, troops will have the choice of wearing five different boots, depending on where they are based and what job they are doing.
The five types available are:
- Desert Combat: worn by dismounted troops conducting high levels of activity in desert environments exceeding 40 °C
- Desert Patrol: worn by mounted troops, typically drivers or armoured troops conducting lower levels of activity in desert environments exceeding 40 °C
- Temperate combat: worn by dismounted troops for high levels of activity in temperate climates
- Patrol: worn by mounted troops, typically drivers or armoured troops conducting lower levels of activity in temperate climates
- Cold Wet Weather: worn by dismounted troops for high levels of activity in temperatures down to –20 °C.
Different foot shapes of men and women
Each of the five boot types comes in two different styles, so personnel will still have to wear whichever one is decreed by their RSM.
The improved brown boots, which have been developed to match the Multi Terrain Pattern uniform worn by all service personnel, will be made in two different width fittings, taking into account for the first time the different foot shapes of men and women.
The new boots have been chosen after months of trials involving 2000 troops serving across the world in Kenya, Cyprus, Canada and the UK. The brown boots will be rolled out to personnel in all three services eventually (at some unspecified time in the future, hopefully).
Black boots will continue to be worn with most non-camouflage uniforms and by units on parade in full dress uniform, such as Guards regiments on ceremonial duties in central London.
As PCS proved, the Optimum level of care and attention required to make these boots as effective as possible in the field will be overruled by RSMs; who will ignore all MoD directives on their care and insist on a Regimental level of doing something to them to make them "Smart". Paint them, iron them, put Greek Army Pom Poms on them in the Regimental Colours, Cobweb lace them with green paracord - who knows how the mind of an RSM works.
Not to be confused with the WW1 era Trench Boots.